Ed Sheeran officially announced his upcoming album, Subtract early Wednesday (March 1) morning in a very raw post on Instagram. The musician revealed that he has been working on the album for a decade, in hopes to “sculpt the perfect acoustic album.”
While he wrote and recorded hundreds of songs, the start of 2022 threw a series of events that changed his life, his mental health, and ultimately the way he viewed music and art.
“Writing songs is my therapy,” Sheeran’s post continued. “It helps me make sense of my feelings. I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out. And in just over a week, I replaced a decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts.
“Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumor, with no route to treatment until after the birth,” he continued of his wife Cherry Seaborn, whom he welcomed a second daughter named Jupiter Seaborn Sheeran in May of last year. The couple has been married since 2019 and also have a 2-year-old daughter named Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran.
Sheeran also wrote of another heartbreak when his best friend Jamal, who was “a brother to me, died suddenly.” At the same time, the “Thinking Out Loud” singer was in court over a lawsuit claiming he plagiarized his song, “Shape Of You.” His post continued, “I was spiraling through fear, depression and anxiety. I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air.”
“As an artist I didn’t feel like I could credibly put a body of work into the world that didn’t accurately represent where I am and how I need to express myself at this point in my life,” his post concludes. “This album is purely that. It’s opening the trapdoor into my soul. For the first time, I’m not trying to craft an album people will like, I’m merely putting something out that’s honest and true to where I am in my adult life. This is last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract.”